The Ultimate Guide To Wants And Needs Part 2 [Copywriting Guides from the ICA]

In part 1 we identified wants as the unnecessary things in life, and needs as the necessary things. We also revealed that wants are never enough – whatever we get is soon forgotten in the race to get more.

Or, put another way, desire is rarely if ever fulfilled. We might feel satisfaction at getting what we want, but on getting it, the satisfaction fades, and we move on to the next want (or more of the same).

Yet desire is the backbone and drug of consumerism, and since it’s consumerism that gives us copywriters work, we know we need to pay attention to it.

This also tells us something interesting about our mission: to understand desire, we need to discover the wants of our audience.

But (as always) there’s another side to this (two actually – but I’ll save the missing side till part 3).

Everything we want solves a problem. That’s a given (or more precisely, a premise). If we want to be a millionaire, it’s not just because we want to be rich, it’s also because we want to escape poverty, or never have to think about it again (but the want to be rich remains there front of mind).

And notice it’s never because we NEED to escape poverty, it’s always because we WANT to. It’s that want that leads to greed (don’t get me wrong, living in poverty is as bad as it gets other than chronic ill health).

Because of that inherent greed (shared by the vast majority of humans). it allows us to sell anything to pretty much anyone provided we recognise it for what it is – the need for greed.

Like parasites, we as copywriters are more than capable of wallowing in it so deep our prospects have no idea what’s happening to them.

We can whip up a greed frenzy even to ourselves using simple associations such as jealousy or envy. If some copywriter can earn a 7 figure income using just a template bought from some guru off the internet for $67, then why shouldn’t we have it too?

And why is it that someone is looked up to by all the other peasants as some kind of huge business celebrity when they’re just spouting the same old thing we’ve heard a hundred times before (and for free) on the internet?

What gives them the right to get that one thing most of us would die for – life changing money rolling into the bank whilst we sleep?

And when they tell us anyone can do it, it’s no wonder we fall like lemmings over the cliff of abundance and find ourselves swimming with sharks down a river of wealth so deep we’re well and truly sunk.

Or we can just do the right thing and ignore the sharks, keep our money in our pockets, and start serving society in the only way that does us all good. Normal business. How we can do that is in part 3. Hold tight.

PS. Never lose sight of the simple fact that we sell to people’s wants. These wants, like all wants, are brought on by people’s problems (real or perceived). Hook them up and you get persuasion.



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